Post letters: Evelyn Karstadt, rail fare freeze and NHS funding

PUBLISHED: 12:30 19 January 2020

Evelyn Karstadt has been recognised with a BEM in the New Year's Honours. Picture: JON KING

Evelyn Karstadt has been recognised with a BEM in the New Year's Honours. Picture: JON KING


Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Post readers this week.

Evelyn worthy of New Year Honours accolade

Dr Leonard Restall B Ed, M Ed (Hons), New Zealand, formerly from Barking, writes:

The recognition of a good charitable volunteer service by Evelyn Karstadt, at the age of 91, is an example that will be difficult to surpass or equal (Post).

She has demonstrated that the gifts or talents she possesses are for the benefit of others and not only for herself.

Of course, she would have gained much satisfaction and enjoyment in helping others but that was unlikely to have been the motive behind what she was doing. It is no wonder her family is proud of her, and the community can be as well. Evelyn obviously knew the charitable use of her talents was good for others but that it was also necessary for the benefit of the wider community.

There may well be many more people in the community that give volunteer help such as drivers for the Red Cross or coaches to various sports teams that go unrecognised by the community in general, but are more than well appreciated.

The borough of Barking and Dagenham has been served well by such charitable volunteer work and Evelyn has been well rewarded by the community in gaining a BEM,

Well done Evelyn for being an epitome of charity for others, and may there be an increase in such charitable use by each one of us with the use of our talents.

This can help the area flourish and highlight the good work going on.

It's worth remembering that when we serve others, we are served by them. In the measure we give is the measure we receive.

Freezing rail fares proves argument

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Unmesh Desai, London Assembly Member for City & East, writes:

Local people have quite rightly lost patience with continuous rail fare hikes, particularly when many have seen little to no improvement of their services.

The burden on peoples' pockets could surely be lessened, and services improved, if privately operated metro services are devolved into the more capable hands of TfL.

You need only to look at City Hall's decision to freeze TfL fares for the fourth-year running to know that rail devolution could make life that little bit more affordable for London's beleaguered commuters.

Single pay as you go fares and paper single tickets on tube, London Overground and Docklands Light Rail services remain as they did in 2016.

So too ticket prices for buses and trams, for Santander Cycle hire and for the Emirates Air Line. Unfortunately, City Hall does not have power to freeze fares on travelcards, because those prices have to be set in agreement with train operating companies and the government.

By the end of next year, this freeze will have saved each London household on average £200, providing a helping hand to those hit by the ever-rising costs of living and the lasting impacts of chronic austerity.

Government must properly fund our NHS

Dr Gary Marlowe, Chairman, BMA London Regional Council, writes:

The recent election saw intense focus on our national health service, and rightly so.

Years of underfunding have pushed the NHS to the limit. The UK now has the second lowest number of doctors in leading European nations relative to its population, according to research published last month, with waiting times for A&E care, cancer treatment and planned operations now dangerously high.

General practice is also experiencing unprecedented pressures as GP numbers continue to fall while patient numbers rise. We, as doctors, will continue to provide the best care possible with the resources at our disposal, however, without adequate investment the NHS will not be sustainable, and patient access to quality care will be reduced to an unacceptable level.

Politicians have promised more money, more staff and more resources, however, there remains concern that the Conservative NHS spending pledges will still lead to a shortfall by 2023/24 of £6.2 billion. Therefore, we need MPs across London, who have been elected to make our voices heard in Westminster, to hold this government to account over the promises made on the campaign trail, while pushing for further commitments.

It is vital the government listen to doctors and other health workers and properly back the NHS and its workforce in the long-term - without it we risk patients being seriously let down by the services they and their families depend on.

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